I’m a hands-on artist, also an independent one, so embracing the DIY ethos has come from necessity and produced creatively rewarding relationships and ultimately friendships throughout the collaboration process.
In making Crush (on a humble budget), I applied myself to all aspects of the production from designing my clothes, creating choreography, building the giant neon heart, styling the dancers, directing and producing, all in collaboration with local creatives. It was a team effort and joyful experience I’ll never forget.
Conceptualising this music video came quite easily, focusing on how the song made me feel.Throughout the process of creating the song my producer (Dave Hammer) and I were constantly dancing, so I built on that impulse, reengaged my skills as a dancer for 14 years and started to build the choreography. Letting go of a storyboard approach allowed me to focus on the movement and engaging the feeling versus a narrative.
I put out a call on my social media and started recruiting dancers, it was a great opportunity to engage and learn more about my fans. Then I reached out to Groove Therapy and was connected with local choreographer Cassandra Merwood. I had a general idea of the structure and Cass came in and sculpted it beautifully. I test drove the chorus choreography on my friend’s kids, I wanted it to be accessible and easy to learn. Then Cass and I brought in the dancers and we rehearsed in the lead up to filming.
With choreographer Cassandra Merwood.
With dancer Lynn on set.
With dancer Erick Polinar on set.
The studio and crew I engaged at Create Or Die I had worked with on Loud n Queer TV (a partnership production with Heaps Gay) with Deb Morgan assisting in production and Adam Scarf as director of cinematography.
Whilst searching for a custom-built neon heart and receiving quotes that were well out of budget, I decided to build it myself. I ordered a 3mx3m mesh steel grid and sculpted the neon flex into the heart shape with cable ties.
For my outfit, I collaborated with my friend and designer, Alissarh. We’d worked together on my pieces for my Japan tour in 2019. I had some drawings I took to Alissarh and together we created custom pieces, screen printing the pants with 'Crush’. We were so impressed with the result we’re exploring options to work on a Crush merchandise line, BRB on that.
On the day of filming everything came together really well, I had an idea of shooting the end scenes from above and the Create Or Die team made that happen. With the help of my friends - Johnny Darragh, Sophie Hardcastle, Alissarh and Evie Jeffery - we styled each individual dancer. We shot everything in one day, it was a huge collaborative effort on a little budget and challenges of keeping the space to COVID WHS regulations, in the end, it felt like my wedding day and I’ve formed so many deeply rewarding relationships through the project.
Assistant Stylist Evie Jeffery hand-stitching pants on dancer Mitchell Bonnici.
Dancer Jack Thepsourinthone on set.
John Darragh - hair and make-up artist on set.
Sophie Hardcastle - hair and make-up assistant on set.
Check out Crush below.
Factory Theatre, Marrickville